Nondrick's Non-adventure

Day 17: A Quested Development

Before I leave Weynon Priory, I poke my head into Jauffre‘s office, where he’s reading a book.

Sup, Jauff? To simpler times, my friend. To simpler times.

Actually, these are simpler times, and will remain so. With my lunkhead NPC wandering about refusing to get into adventures, there will be no adventure. Jauffre will be able to live out the remainder of his days in peaceful meditation or reading or whatever the hell he does when he’s not helping adventurers save the world.

In fact, by not beginning the main quest I actually have saved the world. Uriel Septim sits unmolested in Imperial City, and will remain there. The Oblivion Gates will never open. The world will remain in a state of static peace. I’ve saved the world from ending by avoiding the beginning of the end altogether. Nondrick is a hero simply by trying not to be one.

Well, whatevs! It’s time to check out Chorrol!

Chorrol is an brownish town west of Imperial City, its main export being fighters and main import being, apparently, bald dudes.

I should fit right in here.

I’m in the Oak and Crosier, a local inn, with affordable rooms (10 gp). I buy every cheap ingredient the Khajiit barkeep has, and continue my alchemy grind, making crummy potions just for the experience. Just up the road I find a shop called Northern Good and Trade, run by an Argonian, and sell my collected loot, which isn’t really very much except some wolf pelts and a couple pearls. It’s while I’m chatting up the shopkeep that something magical happens — my speechcraft odometer turns over and I’m prepared to gain another level with the coming night’s rest. Gosh! Level three, here I come!

First, though, gotta scope out the local scenery.

Oh, I see what I want, all right. Heh heh heh. Heh. Heh heh.

With that bit of creepery out of the way, I visit the chapel, and eavesdrop on a couple of conversations — one predictably about mudcrabs, and one about goblins, for a change [both YouTube links]. I enjoy how the dude shoots me a look as he shoulders past me in that second clip.

I meet the local beggar, named Lazy, and give him a coin for good karma, then run into an orc on the street named, well, let’s just say Something gro-Somethingelse. Something starts talking about someone named Reynald. Something ran into Reynald in another town, Cheydinhal, but Reynald acted as if he’d never met Something before, apparently, and this is so interesting to Something that, rather than just asking Reynald about it, he’s decided to tell me, a complete stranger, all the details.

And just like that, the game gives me a quest just for listening to Something’s boring blather. Great. Looks like Chorrol is just like every other town, just packed to the rafters with intrigue.

Maybe I’m taking the wrong approach. Maybe instead of starting off with Nondrick and having him avoid all the quests, I should have one character go through the entire game and complete every single quest possible, and then somehow load up Nondrick in that world, a world where all the adventure has been exhausted. Though that in itself sounds exhausting.

For now, I keep wandering around. I get my armor and weapons repaired, chat with some more locals, and wind up at The Grey Mare, a dive bar and inn. I walk around, talking to the various patrons.

And then. Something terrible happens. Something truly awful. Something that every NPC knows about but never thinks will happen to them.

There’s a man sitting in the corner, drinking, and I walk over to him before I realize who he is. He’s Reynald, the guy Something gro-Somethingelse was talking about. I talk to him.

I just talk. Nothing else. I don’t lead him on or tease him or anything. I don’t act like I’m looking for adventure. This is not my fault. Do you understand me? I did nothing wrong. I did nothing no other NPC wouldn’t have done in my place.

Still, unknowingly, just by speaking to this man, I’ve… I’ve updated the quest I didn’t even want to accept in the first place, the quest the orc gave me.

I can do nothing as this drunkard spills his story and then forces — forces – fifty gold into my inventory.

I feel so violated. I’ve been quest-molested. I’ve been quolested.

Now, I really don’t know what to do. I don’t want to go on this quest, I want to pick herbs and mix them with bread and cheese. But I’ve been forcibly paid already — am I now obligated to at least see it through? I can’t give the money back. I can’t reload a previous save, because it’s against my rules and plus I honestly can’t remember the last time I saved the game. I’m screwed.

Here are my options, as I see them.

1) Forget it. I didn’t want the quest, it was just rammed all up in me. I’ll just keep the gold and ignore this jerk and his stupid jerky crap.

2) Continue it. Look, I’m probably going to visit Cheydinhal at some point anyway. He’s not asking me to storm some vampire lair or slaughter a bunch of party guests one-by-one in a deadly game of cat and mouse. He just wants me to look for a dude who looks like him in another town.

3) Return the money. Very tricky, as I can’t just give it back to him. The best I could do is buy something worth 50 gold and reverse pickpocket (ie: plant) it into his inventory. This would satisfy me as refunding his quest advance, but it’s risky. Nondrick’s stealth isn’t much to speak of and if I get caught fiddling around in Reynald’s pockets I’ll get arrested.

Ach. Damn it. If I find myself in Cheydinhal, I’ll ask around. But I consider the day ruined.

To make myself feel better I visit the castle. There I find Countess Arriana, who seems a bit self-centered.

I hate people who refer to themselves in the third-person. Sadly, even after some chatting and a bribe, she won’t discuss the idea of selling me a house. Again, Nondrick is simply not famous enough. Guess Chorrol will never be home.

She leaves a moment after dissing me, so I take advantage of the opportunity and plant my butt on the throne… I even put on my furry crown.

That little bit of frivolity marks the end of the day, and I head to bed at the Oak and Crossier. Of course, bedtime means it’s time to level up! Here’s a look at how our lad has grown:

Looks pretty good. The mixing, chatting, and selling have given me some nice modifiers for personality and intelligence, both of which I need to be a good alchemist and salesman. I gotta remember, though, that the rest of the outside world is leveling right along with Nondrick. If I’m gaining levels, so are all the beasties roaming around guarding those ingredients I’m going to be picking. And I’m pretty sure the monsters aren’t putting their points into personality.

I might be getting smarter and more charming, but they’re getting deadlier. The world just got a little more dangerous.

Comments

  1. Hey nice quick update.

  2. Hey, couldn’t you just spend your 50gp on junk, throw the junk away, and pretend that it never happened?

  3. NOOOOO! STUPID GAME QUEST FORCING!

  4. to be honest, i dont care if you take up a quest. I’ll read anything thats written by you.

  5. No-one can keep Oblivion from forcing a quest on you it seems.

    Great series, I also tried this myself, but I got pretty bored after a while. Travelling was fun though, especially when you could get jumped by a Minotaur Lord. Several times. And then some bears. Mods – don’t cha just love ‘em?

    Anyway, keep up the great work! You keep writing them and we’ll keep reading ‘em!

    Godspeed Nondrick.

  6. I was pleasantly suprised to see another update. I can’t blame you for spreading your interest out here and there, it doesn’t seem as if running about for ten or twenty minutes to forage ingredients then run in to town for shenanigans and what not would be highly entertaining. But do not lose hope! There is obviously a growing interest in your little blog here, and I personally find it very entertaining. I would not be suprised if there are a few ingenious people who are now making mods for Oblivion that allow the player to exist as a NPC with less molestation. Good luck, good job, and I hope to see more!

  7. Alright, before i get to the Praising, could someone give me a link to Livingston’s TF2 comic? i lost it in the deep, crowded confines of my Favs menu.

    Anyways, AWSOME. I love LIO.
    And i have a little idea, but i dont have time to post it now.

  8. AWESOME ! :D I simply LOVE your work ;)

  9. what he said

  10. I’ve never played this game at all, but for some reason your playstyle here seems more interesting than the questing and smashing I’ve seen people do. The npc’s, while smart by npc standards, are still pretty dumb by human standards, and are apparently all voiced by the same three or four people.

    I know all this, despite having not played the game, by watching somebody’s playthrough of the game on dailymotion. But apparently they thought the vanilla game was dumb, too, so they modded the hell out of it with hideous results.

  11. It might not be such a bad idea to pick up the Jemane brothers. I use them as meatshields to escort me through caves and stuff, which would help Nondrick with that not dying thing.

  12. Glad to see another update so quickly…

  13. If you wanted to get all of the quests out of the way you could type “caqs” into the console and it will every quest in the game for you. I don’t know if it will give you the experience or items that you would normally get but it might be worth a try so you don’t have any more mishaps.

  14. “Oh, I see what I want, all right. Heh heh heh. Heh. Heh heh.” Lmao.

    Brilliant as usual, glad to see you made this one so quickly.

  15. Great update! It’s fabulistic!

  16. I suppose like in Skingrad, you could happilly go along with conversation and the like and merely back out if anything remotely adventurous looks like happening.

  17. Thanks for the last two readings I was also going into DT’s for more!!!!!

    And please keep it up!!!

  18. Instead of pickpocketing and putting an item in Reynald’s inventory, how about leaving a present in his house? Of course that might require a bit of breaking and entering, at which point you’re really doing more work than the quest would have you do.

    I say roll with it. NPCs are supposed to be the average Joes of the world. Normal people don’t dash off to another city to do a guy a favor, but it’s not out of the question to look someone up next time you happen to be in town.

  19. Woo! Updates!

  20. hey sir, i loved it once more. i say accept that adventure. the other choises seems more… dangerous. just go at the town and look for teh man. its not like you gonna fight bears or something

  21. You really shouldnt worry about Reynold I doubt hell remember anything when he sobers up (I mean, he cant be drunk through the hole game).
    Or you should just think that, by taking 50 coins from him, you were just helping him in not going into alcoholic coma.

  22. I have a suggestion…why not spend the 50 on the local beggars. Granted you will have to do it fifty times, since you only donate one coin at a time…but that would mean 50+ karma, lol.

  23. Alexander says:

    I don’t think he’s started the TF2 comic yet. Unless he’s snuck another website under my radar. His TF2 blog is http://www.1fort.com
    By the way, did you start smoking again, Chris? I’ve always wanted to ask you that.

  24. Much better than the last one, which felt rushed and uninspired. This is the great non-adventure i’ve been expecting for the past 2+ weeks! Great stuff!

  25. Eh? The youtube links were added a month ago.

    That explains a lot. You’ve already had the adventure, you’re just documenting it now.

    This was a great update, by the way. Nice and fast, too. I laughed out loud at Nondrick being quolested, and the pic of him on the throne with his furry crown was hilarious. Keep it up.

  26. The way I see it, that guy is throwing money at people for no good reason, go ahead and keep it.
    I loved the update

  27. I don’t think this really qualifies as a “quest” per se. Think of it as a favour. A smallish favour that will have little to no consequence on you of your environment (much like Nondrick himself). So chin up, take the donation, go talk to the bastard and get on with your little flower picking hobby. Or, if further rationalization is needed, think of Reynald as “investing” in Nondrick. A little extra business capital for the fledgling capital. He’ll probably ask for discount in return once your successful, the dick.

  28. Jangowolf says:

    I say to solve your quest problem go with 1 or 2… mainly 2. Sounds like a npc would talk to another if they got paid to.

  29. I agree with paw. This can hardly be qualified as a quest. If Bob told me to tell Tom that he wanted to talk with him, I’d hardly be a rip roaring adventurer for doing so. It’s a slippery slope, but I think you’re okay.

  30. To Alexander:

    I know of 1fort. it’s how i got to this blog in the first place. It’s just i was reading a Comic he made, and it was as awsome as “Concerned”. Some guy on Gamefaqs.com out a topic with both comics….;..

  31. Every-time I see you level with a stat at 2 or 3 I shiver in horror… The waste! The horrible waste! hehe

  32. This blog is pretty cool! Keep it up! =)

  33. Razzle Frazzle says:

    we live in a creul world where we MUST be givin random quests

  34. Wow, I just read through all of your updates, and this non-adventure is quite exciting! Kep up the great work man! I can not wait for the next update

    Also, I think I might try to act a little more NPC-ish in the future, seems like it will add a little flavor to the recently chewed steak I like to call Oblivion.

  35. AmrcnZero says:

    how come this blog disappeared from wordpress? They have no history of it. weird

  36. The mans man says:

    OMG, your twisted tale of non-ness rocks!!!

    I followed the path you made, met the characters you met, just to better understand lol, and i gotta say walking every in oblivion is like watching paint dry… i couldn’t do it!!! you be dam dedicated man.

    I know genius takes time, but whens the next update already??? =)

  37. austinpwnz says:

    This is so awesome! I’ve been following for the last few weeks and must say that I need my next Nondrick fix.

    Honestly, please continue this. It’s really amazing, and I enjoy it as much as anything else I read for fun.

  38. Paynexkiller says:

    Man, your so awesome. can’t stop reaedin ghit stuff. Thanks for the laughs! Think I might play Oblivion.

  39. Another great update!

    “I feel so violated. Ive been quest-molested. Ive been quolested.”

    Laughing my ass off!!!!!

  40. Congratulations to Nondrick for preemptively saving the World of Nirn! Hmm. Too bad that you didn’t use the mod that has NPCs react to your clothing’s class rating and your personality rating! I was going to mention the Console command, but someone else did it first. I’ve done it before. It marks the quests as completed in your journal, but you don’t always get the benefits of having done so, because some quests contradict each other, so they even out in the results. Eventually your game crashes too. At least mine did.

  41. I love game

  42. You could’ve bribed him, no? Also, great post title.

  43. I love the cliff hangers near the end. So awesome.